Construction delays of 5 to 15 minutes await motorists at two places along State Route 260 as construction gets under way on a 20-year program to widen 50 miles of that highway between Payson and Heber.
Delays are possible in the area of Preacher Canyon between mileposts 260 and 263, and at Kohl's Ranch.
The Preacher Canyon phase of the project, which will take two years to complete, includes building six bridges, two that will span the canyon and four for wildlife crossings.
During the next few weeks, construction crews will mobilize construction equipment, salvage and remove vegetation, and perform prescribed burning as needed.
Initial construction will be away from the existing highway so delays should be minimal, said Dodd O'Neill, project manager for contractor D.H. Blattner and Sons.
Delays near Kohl's Ranch will be in effect while crews install a water pumping station across the street from that resort.
"Since water is a precious resource in the local community, ADOT is building a water pumping station to supply water for construction," Myron Robison, ADOT's Payson resident engineer, said.
The station will capture excess flow from Tonto Creek during the winter to recharge the wells used for road construction.
In addition, Robison said, many of the plants being removed during construction will be saved.
"Nearly 1,000 of the shrubs and trees are being salvaged and will be replanted along the roadway," he stated.
For updated construction and road delay information, call ADOT's toll-free hotline at (866) 260-4636.